U.S. Cellular


Smart Cities: Transforming Waste and Water Management With (SCADA) Solutions

Now, more than ever, cities across the U.S. are looking for smart solutions, especially when it comes to waste and water management. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a game changer that is innovative and affordable. SCADA offers better visibility and control over operations and requires a strong cellular network that works in both remote and highly populated areas for best results.

A recent article in Forbes magazine cited a report from Lux Research that estimated the wastewater treatment and monitoring industry to be a $600-billion industry with an average profit of 12.9% per company. Water is a substance that is needed for life itself, so naturally municipal governments give it a top priority in their planning process. With growing population centers emerging, sound waste and water management systems are continually needed. Water purification is essential to the modern smart city and SCADA provides this service among a long list of other functions.

What’s Old Becomes New Again

SCADA is a wireless operating system that exists in industrial settings and manages complex processes either remotely or on-site. Its three chief functions are to monitor, collect and sift through large amounts of data while the system is functioning. This system is connected with industrial devices and gadgets, including sensors, motors, pumps and valves, plus an assortment of other software that connects it to other machines.

Here are some historical facts about SCADA’s development:

  • SCADA was first used as a term in the early 1970s, although the control of industrial processes began prior to that.
  • Computer networks did not come of age until after SCADA emerged, but it now serves as a main manager of information flow.
  • LAN (local area network), developed in the 1980s and 1990s, permitted SCADA systems to connect with each other, but the transfer of data was limited.
  • The development of the Ethernet in the first decade of this century enabled SCADA vendors to communicate with each other.

SCADA, which now utilizes cutting-edge technology, allows local governments and businesses to make adjustments in the way machines, devices and processes perform thanks to its efficient and detailed data monitoring. Its software proactively informs humans of potential problems in the system.

SCADA Benefits

Establishing and maintaining the municipal water supply and bolstering waste plant operations often are capital projects that receive a high degree of public scrutiny. That’s why it is crucial to have an operating system like SCADA that is reliable and links all the parts together for ongoing remote monitoring.

Benefits produced by SCADA systems to projects and operating plants include:

  • The shifting of workloads to nonpeak hours ensures lower energy costs.
  • Its ability to anticipate and report malfunctions means reduced maintenance expenses.
  • Processes that are lagging behind can be identified, leading to more efficiency in the overall system.
  • Industrial settings are safer and easier to operate despite their complexity (systems control, data accumulation, preventive maintenance).
  • Utilizing visual controls and monitoring interface can bring about effective interpretation by supervisors.
  • It can keep historical data that can be accessed and used at any time as needed.
  • Its real-time ability to raise alarms as incidents occur enables assigned responders the opportunity to address the situation(s) immediately.

With so many cities adopting SCADA systems, more municipal funds can be funneled into smart grid technology to manage the delivery of electricity.

Categories:   Optimize Operations